Braun sparks Brewers to Reds rout

Ryan Braun began Milwaukee’s six-homer barrage as the Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-3 on Thursday to take the final game of the series.

The NL Central leaders hit six homers for the first time since 2007, when they also did it in Cincinnati.

Jonathan Villar connected twice as Milwaukee matched their season high for runs. Jesus Aguilar had a three-run homer among his three hits.

Jimmy Nelson (6-4) gave up three hits in seven innings, including Joey Votto’s 22nd and 23rd homers, and matched his season high with 11 strikeouts. The teams combined for 19 homers during the three-game series.

“You just knew we were going to break out of it, especially in a park like this,” Nelson said.

Braun returned at the start of the series after missing a month with a strained left calf. He homered twice in the series, including his solo shot in the first off Homer Bailey (0-2) who has been hit hard in both of his starts since returning from elbow surgery.

“I wasn’t worried that he was going to hit,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s going to hit.”

Braun’s 24th career homer at Great American Ball Park moved him one ahead of Lance Berkman for the most by a visiting player. Braun has 39 homers overall against the Reds since his rookie season of 2007 – the most by any player against Cincinnati in that time.

The Reds have allowed homers in 22 straight games – four shy of the major league record. Basement boys Cincinnati have lost 15 of their last 19 games overall.

Villar connected off Kevin Shackelford for his third career multi-homer game. Aguilar’s three-run homer off the rookie made it 10-0 in the fourth inning.

MAKING MOVES

The Brewers put RHP Chase Anderson on the 10-day DL with a strained left oblique and called up RHP reliever Jorge Lopez from Double-A. The Reds announced that RHP Jake Buchanan cleared outright waivers and decided to become a free agent rather than accept a move to the minors.

REST FOR THAMES

Slumping 1B Eric Thames got a day off. He’s four for 41 in his last 11 games with 19 strikeouts. Counsell said he might get another day off.

YOU’RE GONE

Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected for the second time this season by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth in the third inning. He challenged a call that Aguilar’s double was in play after the ball came to rest under a pad. The call was upheld on review and Price was ejected for continuing to argue.

STATS

The Brewers hit at least six homers for the sixth time in franchise history. The club record is seven at Cleveland in 1980. Votto’s 23 homers before the All-Star break are a career high. It was his 13th multi-homer game and his first since last June against the Cubs. The Reds’ rotation’s ERA jumped to 6.29 – the worst in the NL.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Anderson will be examined when the Brewers return home on Friday to give them a better idea how long he might be sidelined.

Reds: SS Zack Cozart got a day of rest in his rehab from a strained right thigh, which has sidelined him since June 19. He’s expected to be activated during a weekend series against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park.

UP NEXT

Brewers: Milwaukee start a six-game homestand with the first of three against Miami. RHP Matt Garza (3-4) is 3-3 career against the Marlins with a 5.11 ERA.

Reds: RHP Scott Feldman (6-5) makes his second career start against the Cubs. He gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings of a 7-5 loss at Wrigley Field on May 17. The Cubs have won 23 of their last 28 games overall against the Reds.

Thursday’s other MLB results:
Texas Rangers 1-5 Cleveland Indians
Oakland Athletics 1-6 Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs 5-4 Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles 2-0 Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins 3-6 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 3-7 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 10-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Rays 0-4 Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets 6-3 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 0-6 San Diego Padres

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